Yeats2015 – An Exciting Year of Celebration in Ireland
to Mark the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of WB Yeats
Yeats2015 is a yearlong program of cultural and artistic events to celebrate
the 150th anniversary of the birth of Irish Nobel prize-winning poet William
Butler Yeats. This is the first time that Ireland will honor any one individual
in this way.
An internationally renowned poet and playwright, Yeats was cited by
the Nobel Academy in 1923, as having 'given expression to the spirit of
a whole nation.' He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in December
1923, the first Irish man to do so.
The yearlong program will feature contemporary, classical and traditional
arts events spanning theatre, dance, poetry, literature, visual arts, music,
educational events, concerts, readings, talks, exhibitions and festivals
all centred around WB Yeats work, life and family
Cultural events centered on Sligo, Galway, Dublin, London and in counties
across Ireland are echoed in a diverse international program. Through the
prism of one of Ireland’s greatest artists, Yeats2015 marks a moment to
celebrate and promote creativity in Ireland and elsewhere, and to reconsider
the role of culture, community and the arts in the contemporary world.
eats’ love of Ireland and of places in Ireland that were of particular
inspiration to him in Sligo, Galway and Dublin will also be celebrated
as part of the program. Visitors wishing to walk in Yeats’ shoes will be
encouraged to visit places like Innisfree, the Sally Gardens, BenBulben
Mountain, Coole Park and Thoor Ballylee.
Key program highlights include a worldwide celebration of Yeats Day
on June 13th, an exhibition of John Yeats paintings at the National Gallery,
a celebratory music and poetry weekend of events at the National Concert
Hall, an expanded Yeats Summer School in Sligo, theatre and dance performances
at national arts festivals and widespread literary and poetry events throughout
the year. The National Library will also host a series of events at its
award-winning exhibition, the Life and Works of William Butler Yeats, as
will the Galway City Museum and The Model in Sligo.
For more information see:
2015 Coole Music Orchestra Festival
March 7, 2015
Gort, Co. Galway
2015 will see the festival celebrate the life of WB Yeats by performing
Yeats poetry with accompanying choir and orchestra including works by Irish
composers in each performance. This festival in the West of Ireland presents
young orchestras and choral groups of high artistic standard from all over
Ireland to audiences.
For more information see - http://www.coole-music.com/index.php?id=22.
Yeats 150: The Harp Festival of Moons
Thursday 5th March - Galway
This will be the second performance of the Harp Festival of Moons.
Yeats included the moon and landscape in much of his literary work and
his connection to the harp as both a national emblem and a symbol on our
coinage inspired the hosting of a music event featuring the harp on the
full moon of every month in 2015.
Kiltartan Church, Galway presented in partnership with The Yeats and
Lady Gregory Trail and The Irish Harp Centre, Limerick
For more information contact Hugh@Yeats2015.com
March 27 – 29, 2015
Sligo Southern Hotel
Featuring a series of competitions including the Yeats Cup for Senior
and Junior Levels at the English Verse Speaking weekend of the Feis, March
27 - 29.
Further information at www.feis-shlighigh.ie
Yeats Country and Lakelands Bike Tour
A 12 Day/ 11 Night self-guided bike tour to explore the wild Atlantic
landscape that inspires WB Yeats poetry in Ireland’s North West. This tour
starts and finishes in Sligo and is easily accessible from both Dublin
Airport and Ireland West Airport. Full 12 day leisurely tour, or an 8/6
day shorter option is available from 28 March – 25 October 2015.
Further information is available at www.irelandbybike.com
Daily Year-round Events
The Yeats Collection at the National Library of Ireland (NLI) &
Kildare Street, Dublin 2
The National Library, reflecting its long association with Yeats, and
building on its award-winning exhibition Yeats: The Life and Work of William
Butler Yeats, will offer a varied program of events to mark this landmark
The exhibition Yeats: The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats
is at the heart of the National Library of Ireland on Kildare St, where
WBY was a frequent visitor throughout his life. Described as "one of the
most important literary exhibitions yet staged internationally", over half
a million visitors from Ireland and abroad have experienced the life and
works of the poet in person at this wonderful exhibition.
The exhibition is based on the Yeats Collection - thousands of manuscripts
and other items written by or relating to William Butler Yeats. It is the
largest collection of Yeats’ material in the world, featuring drafts of
the writer’s most famous works, in addition to personal papers ranging
from diaries and letters to royalty statements and tax returns; from school
reports and news clippings to automatic writing and WBY’s personal library
For more information see: http://www.nli.ie/yeats.
The Abbey Theatre Backstage Tours
Get an exclusive insight into the history and behind the scenes work
of Ireland’s national theatre, co-founded by WB Yeats, on a guided backstage
tour. Knowledgeable tour guides lead an engaging visit through the many
aspects that come together to make Ireland’s national theatre, exploring
the fascinating challenges of each new production. Enjoy an introduction
to their historic art collection, a drink at the Yeats Lounge and be inspired
by the founders, William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn.
Tours are scheduled to match the running dates of Abbey stage plays.
Tours last for approximately one hour fifteen minutes and start from
the Abbey Theatre foyer at 4pm Wednesday to Friday and 11.30am on Saturdays,
subject to backstage access. Backstage tours are not scheduled during previews
or technical periods.
Access: The tour crosses four levels of the Abbey and involves some
stairs. Please specify if mobility is an issue when booking, as the Abbey
will accommodate those with reduced mobility.
Price: €8 per person / €6 per person for groups of 6 – 12
Booking: Tickets available online at www.abbeytheatre.ie
or call +353 (0)1 87 87 222. Tickets are limited
Yeats at One: Hargadon’s Pub
At 1pm every day, in one of Sligo’s oldest pubs, the Nobel poet WB
Yeats will be celebrated with a reading of one of his poems.
For more information, see: http://www.hargadons.com/
Galway City Museum (Galway)
Will host an exhibition in their foyer from January to August 2015.
They will also host a program of literary education workshops, readings
and events throughout the year.
For more information see http://www.galwaycitymuseum.ie
The Model (Sligo)
January to December 2015
The Model, home of The Niland Collection, is one of Ireland’s leading
contemporary arts centers.
This award-winning building is home to the impressive Niland Collection
of art, one of the most notable collections in Ireland and featuring works
by John and Jack B. Yeats, Estella Solomons, Paul Henry and Louis Le LeBrocquy
among others. The Model’s program for Yeats2015 will include the captivating
Psychic Lighthouse exhibition, Yeats-inspired family days, The Candlelight
Salon, a creative chat session and a program of music and film inspired
For more information, see http://themodel.ie.
Dedicated Tourism Website Launched for Lough Derg
A new website dedicated exclusively to the promotion of the Lakelands
Lough Derg region, www.discoverloughderg.ie,
has been launched by Alan Kelly, Minister for the Environment, Community
and Local Government. The site provides visitors to the region with information
on places to visit, events, accommodation providers and restaurants, special
offers, and land and water-based activities.
The website is one of a number of marketing initiatives being rolled
out over the coming months during 2015 to establish the Lough Derg area
in counties Clare, Galway and Tipperary as Ireland's premier lakeland destination.
"Lough Derg is the most important tourism asset in this region, and
the lake has the capacity and the potential to entice and host domestic
and international visitors alike," stated Kelly. The Minister added: "We
need to continue to work on increasing the demand for lakeside and leisure
activities and attract tourists into the Lakelands Lough Derg Region. An
online presence is just one activity to assist us in doing this".
Kelly confirmed that a €2million stimulus package is being invested
to progress the objectives of the "Roadmap for Experience Development and
Destination Marketing Plan 2014-2017" for Lough Derg, which was launched
earlier in 2014.
Implementation of the plan is coordinated by the Lough Derg Marketing
Group (LDMG), comprising Fáilte Ireland, Waterways Ireland, Inland
Fisheries, Clare, Galway and Tipperary County Councils and tourism trade
representatives from the private sector.
In addition to the website, the LDMG has coordinated a promotional video
for the Lakelands Lough Derg Region, which is available to view on the
newly launched website and which local tourism businesses are encouraged
to incorporate into their websites. Lakelands Lough Derg will also be promoted
on websites across France and Germany, while a domestic marketing campaign
is planned for the national print and broadcast media in early 2015.
Joe MacGrath, LDMG chairperson and chief executive of Tipperary County
Council, commented: "One of the key objectives outlined in the Roadmap
is to improve orientation around Lough Derg for visitors. This will be
achieved by erecting new signage to create a sense of arrival and enhance
the visitor experience in exploring the area."
He said the Roadmap focuses on the three counties of Clare, Tipperary
and Galway that border the lake, with signage from motorways to the regional
and local roads included in the plan. "Work is progressing in relation
to this project and new signage is expected to be put in place in 2015,"
"The marketing and promotion of Lough Derg is an ongoing process," explained
Áine McCarthy, tourism marketing coordinator for Lough Derg, who
added: "For example, the Lough Derg Marketing Group launched a pilot food
tourism initiative, A Taste of Lough Derg in June, 2014, became an instant
success generating public attention on social media."
"The initiative will be extended next year to get more of the tourism
trade involved, with more events taking place throughout the summer months
offering visitors to Lough Derg a choice of food events to attend," added
Wild Atlantic Way Heritage Tourism Project Launched
A pilot project that has resulted in the development of a heritage trail
on 60km of the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) is being hailed as a template for
future similar developments along the West of Ireland coastal route from
Donegal to West Cork.
County Council, in partnership with Loop Head Tourism, The Heritage Council
and Fáilte Ireland, today launched the Loop Head and Kilkee Heritage
Trail on the Wild Atlantic Way.
The guide features 18 local heritage attractions including the West
Clare Railway, the Church of the Little Ark, Kilkee Victorian Town and
the Bridges of Ross, as well as other local WAW Discovery and Signature
Through consultation with the local community and stakeholders, the
pilot project also features recommendations to make it more streamlined
and cost effective for other local communities to replicate the same project
along the 2,500km WAW.
Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council welcomed the
selection of Kilkee and the Loop Head Peninsula as the location for the
pilot project and said he hoped other WAW communities will be inspired
to further enhance their tourism product offering.
He added: "The development and promotion of lesser known attractions is
often overlooked even though they hold the key to revitalizing the domestic
tourism sector. The Loop Head Peninsula boasts a variety of local heritage
sites and attractions, along with some of Ireland’s most unique and breathtaking
scenery. The development of this Trail complements work undertaken throughout
the Loop Head Peninsula in recent years to develop and promote the local
Congella McGuire, Heritage Officer with Clare County Council, said Loop
Head’s growing reputation as a visitor destination has evolved as a result
of "a bottom-up, community focused approach."
"The project is aimed at promoting a greater sense of understanding
of the history, heritage, folklore and culture along the Wild Atlantic
Way (WAW) route by connecting with and placing the local community at the
core of this and future WAW projects," she said.
McGuire noted that a systematic project methodology was used in the
development of the heritage trail.
"The first key task was the identification of potential heritage trail
sites by the project steering group and key community representatives,"
she indicated, adding that an inspection of each of the 27 potential heritage
sites was undertaken where a set of site assessment criteria were applied
and this potential list was refined. "This was followed by research and
interpretation tasks surrounding the 18 sites on the final list and the
Maritime History, Folklore and Traditions, Flora and Fauna, and Built,
Military and Religious Heritage of the area," she commented.
McGuire continued: "The recommendations, processes and checklists outlined
in the final project report should allow the project to be replicated and
help future projects be more efficient, streamlined and cost effective.
They also provide a clear model for working with the local community and
stakeholders and will help deliver high quality and consistent design ready
interpretation content along the entire WAW."
Cillian Murphy, chair of Loop Head Tourism, added, "We are delighted
to have had this opportunity to work with The Heritage Council, Failte
Ireland and Clare County Council on developing the first destination led
heritage trail on the WAW. It is testament to the hard work done by the
group over the last number of years that we were chosen to be the pilot
project on how to showcase our local heritage to visitors, enticing them
to slow down and spend a little longer in each destination along the Wild
"The resulting Loop Head Peninsula Heritage Trail is a shining example
of what can be achieved when statutory agencies and local community groups
co-operate in a bottom-up approach to tourism development," added Murphy.
He went on to say that County Clare has placed itself at the forefront
of responsible tourism development in Ireland over the last number of years
and this project is further proof of that decision paying dividends and
benefiting both locals and visitors.
The Loop Head and Kilkee Heritage Trail on the Wild Atlantic Way features
Carrigaholt Castle and Bay, Bridges of Ross, Kilkee Cliffs and Pollock
Holes (WAW Discovery Points), Church of the Little Ark (WAW Signature Point),
Blackweir Bridge, Doonaha Ringforts, Tullig Famine Village, Corbally and
Coosheen (Heritage Areas), Bishops Island, Dunlicka Castle, Loop Head,
Pilots Memorial and Kilbaha Bay, Grave of the Yellow Men, Rinevella Bay
and Submerged Forest, Kilcredaun Churches and Holy Well, Kilcredaun Churches
and Holy Well, Querrin Pier and the West Clare Railway (Heritage Sites).
The Trail Z-Card will shortly be made available throughout the region.
For more visit www.loophead.ieand
Red Carnation Keeps Ashford Upscale
In keeping with Ashford Castle's grandeur, the new owners, the Tollman
family of Red Carnation Hotels, have included carefully selected artwork,
antique furniture and carpeting from the finest auction houses including
Christie's and Lots Road. Multi-colored fabrics from Brunschwig & Fils,
the same fabric makers for the White House and Palace of Versailles with
upholstery from world-renowned, London-based A.T. Cronin Workshop adorn
each space. Award-winning Kai velvet curtains and wall fabrics complete
piece highlights in the billiards room include a mid-19th-century Jacobean
Revival carved oak fireplace and overmantle with Tudor roses and acanthus
motifs and a royal-stamped, full-sized mahogany and satinwood cross-banded
billiards table from Thurson & Co. Ltd. with Edwardian-era mahogany
scoreboard. The table and scoreboard were previously owned by world-champion
billiards player Joe Davis who held the title for 20 straight years.
film posters from around the world hang throughout the cinema room, including
from John Wayne's action film Chisum and the Italian version of
Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry. Hot popcorn is delivered on request
and candy dispensers are also available and fully stocked for those with
a sweet tooth.
For more information on Ashford Castle, visit www.ashfordcastle.com.
Ashford Castle is set on 350 acres in Co. Mayo, on the shores of Lough
Corrib and the River Cong, with a backdrop of woodlands, lake, river and
mountains. It features 82 guestrooms and is renowned for a range of country
sports including an equestrian center, fly fishing, a nine-hole golf course
and Ireland's first school of falconry. Several dining rooms and bars,
along with a gracious afternoon tea service are among the amenities.
Ashford Castle is a member of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, an
award-winning collection of five- and four-star family-run boutique hotels
in London, Dorset, Guernsey, Geneva, Florida, South Africa and now Ireland.
Each property has its own individual character and unique location that
reflects the local environment, culture and cuisine. For more information
about these award-winning hotels and the rest of the Red Carnation Collection,
go to www.redcarnation.com.
Ireland has big designs on 2015
Devotees of contemporary design should pencil in a date with the island
of Ireland for 2015 – the country has set aside the entire year for a big
celebration of Irish design in just about every form.
With a full schedule of commissioned and internationally-hosted exhibitions,
talks and workshops, the Emerald Isle’s ID2015 program will be the ideal
destination for anyone with an eye for good design, an interest in Irish
design culture, or even just wanting to see something new and fresh.
The year will showcase the very best from Irish design in a packed program
of designer experiences, through signature events throughout the island
and in international capitals of design and commerce.
As part of the celebration the International Association of Designers
has designated Dublin a World Design Hub. Outside the country there will
be showcases at design weeks, fashion weeks, and architecture biennales
in selected international design capitals, including London Fashion Week,
Milan Design Week, Tokyo Designers Week, Maison et Objet, Paris, and the
Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Renowned Irish and international designers will take part in a varied
schedule of ID2015 events in the Irish capital, with exhibitions, workshops,
festivals, talks and more.
Exhibitions will take place throughout the year in several prestigious
venues, including the Design Hub at historic Dublin Castle, and in other
venues around the country such as the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny.
The flagship exhibition is Irish Design Here/Now, which will explore
design in Ireland and the work of Irish designers at home and abroad.
Annual events that will have a particular design focus for 2015 include:
Showcase – Ireland’s International Creative Expo, Offset Creative Festival,
Appetite for Design - Culinary Design Experience, Dublin Design Week, a
global business design conference, as well as a grand exhibition by the
A’ Design Awards, one of the world’s leading design accolades.
A number of major Irish festivals will have design themes for ID2015,
including Dublin’s St Patrick’s Festival, the Galway International Arts
Festival, Cork Craft and Design Festival, and Craft Month Northern Ireland.
A series of exhibitions celebrating local design heroes is also being
A new generation of exciting craftspeople and designers is shaking
up the scene on the island of Ireland, mixing traditional techniques with
a contemporary edge.
The country will be steeped in design, imagination and creativity all
through 2015. Anyone who wants to learn about Irish design and meet the
people behind it will have boundless opportunity to connect with it.
To see the full schedule of events visit: http://irishdesign2015.ie
12.5% increase in Cliffs of Moher Visitor Numbers
Visitor numbers at the Clare County Council-owned Cliffs of Moher visitor
attraction have increased by 12.5% during 2014, breaking the one million
mark for the first time. Visitor numbers have hit 1,075,000 for 2014, representing
an increase of more than 115,000 visitors on the overall figure for 2013.
Last year marks the fourth successive year of increased visitor numbers
to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience. The visitor center has also
seen substantial investment in product and facilities in 2014 with a spend
of over €600,000 on additional coach parking facilities, new exhibition
content, restoration works in O’Brien’s Tower and a redesign of the foyer
at the visitor centre.
"A number of positive factors combined during 2014 to drive visitor
numbers over the one million mark," said Katherine Webster, director of
Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.
"New routes and increased access into Shannon Airport, the launch by
Failte Ireland of the Wild Atlantic Way on which the Cliffs of Moher are
a Signature Discovery point, the popularity of the 12-kilometre Cliffs
of Moher Coastal Walk, and the Cliffs of Moher's close links with Brian
Ború during the millennial anniversary of his death have all contributed
to the visitor number increase during 2014, she pointed out.
"Meanwhile, strong performances from the core North American, UK, German
and French markets have added to the growth seen in newer markets such
as Australia, South Africa, China and South America," added Webster.
Mount Stewart Reunited with its Historic Demesne
Mount Stewart’s world famous house and gardens are set to be reunited
with their historic demesne after more than 50 years. The news comes as
the National Trust today announced plans which will see the area which
the conservation charity looks after increase from 100 to 1000 acres
The £4m investment from the National Trust comes as the £7.5m
project to restore the house at Mount Stewart enters its final weeks.
Announcing the news, Jon Kerr, National Trust Manager at Mount Stewart
said: "This year as we celebrate the completion of the house restoration
project at Mount Stewart, we will begin another new chapter in its history
as we reunite the house and garden with its historic demesne.
"With a story dating back hundreds of years, the landscape will now
extend beyond the house and garden on the shores of Strangford Lough to
include the surrounding 1,000 acres of rolling parkland and woodland which
make up the demesne. In time, visitors will be able to explore extensive
woodland, previously unseen walled gardens, farmland and a range of historic
monuments and buildings.
"Combined with a newly restored house and one of the top gardens in
the world – in years to come this will create a destination which offers
a fascinating insight in to the stories of the Stewart family. I really
believe that Mount Stewart is an extraordinary place, and it deserves to
be safeguarded and protected for many generations to come."
Lady Rose Lauritzen, granddaughter of Edith Lady Londonderry, welcomed
the news: "The number of people visiting Mount Stewart continues to rise
every year and the pleasure it gives to so many people will be enhanced
by the opening of the demesne. This will eventually enable visitors to
walk, ride or cycle around the old rides, and enjoy the beauty of the wildlife
and wild flowers in a totally unspoilt part of Northern Ireland.
"Mount Stewart for me is more like a relation or a best friend and having
experienced so much pleasure all my life surrounded by the exquisite thousand
acres, I feel very strongly that it should be shared by everyone. I know
for the Trust this is an important long term investment."
Heather Thompson, director for the National Trust in Northern Ireland,
said: "Our £4m investment in the demesne is in addition to the £7.5m
house restoration project which will complete in April 2015 - a clear demonstration
of the National Trust’s commitment to conservation that will leave a legacy
for everyone in Northern Ireland to enjoy, forever.
"This is a really special opportunity to open up access to a truly beautiful
part of our countryside. Looking after the wider demesne will require a
huge amount of work and we will be developing a range of plans over the
next few years, in preparation for opening this amazing landscape to our
members, supporters and visitors."
"I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Arts Council and HMRC
who helped guide us through the Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) process which
has made this possible. As part of the same AIL process we will also see
an amazing collection of historic items returning to the house. So this
really is a big year for Mount Stewart," Thompson emphasized.
Although visitors will not be able to access the full demesne for a
number of years, the Trust has already opened up areas of the previously
unseen Walled Garden and Dairy.
Neil Porteus, Head Gardener at Mount Stewart said; "Once the powerhouse
of the demesne, the Walled Garden provided plants, raised mainly from seed,
supplied by plant collectors from around the World, and produced a wide
variety of fruit and vegetables to serve the house and feed the estate
"A significant project in itself, restoring the Walled Garden in years
ahead will incorporate the return of an extensive collection of the best
scented period roses. In the open quarters of the orchard there are plans
to plant a selection of fruit trees. Over the longer term we will once
again grow soft fruit in the restored Vineries and Peach Houses."
The newly restored house at Mount Stewart will open a range of exciting
new rooms to visitors in April with a UTV documentary airing later in the
summer. Meanwhile the world class gardens are open to visitors to enjoy
throughout the year.
More About the National Trust:
- The National Trust’s £7.5m restoration project to save Mount
Stewart includes essential repairs and improvements to the structure and
services of this precious house. Its treasures are also being carefully
repaired alongside important research carried out to bring back to life
this family home back to its former glory. The house will reopen to visitors
in April 2015.
- The total cost of the project is £7.5 m, the majority being
invested directly by the National Trust. The project is being delivered
with local contractors H & J Martin. The project has significant benefits
for the local economy, through the creation of new jobs, preservation of
heritage skills, apprenticeships, appointing local companies and the development
of a major tourist attraction for Northern Ireland.
- The Vinery at Mount Stewart is the only significant historic glasshouse
left in the demesne which is home to the ancient, ‘White Syrian’ vine,
(the oldest vine in Ireland and the second oldest in the UK, planted one
year after the Hampton Court Vine, which dates back to 1768).
- For more information on the Acceptance in Lieu process please visit:
- The Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded charitable grant-making
foundation which supports a wide range of causes across the UK, donating
over £54million in the most recent financial year. It was established
in 1958 by Willard Garfield Weston and has donated over £785 million,
becoming one of the largest and most respected charitable institutions
in the UK. The trustees are descendants of the founder and the Weston Family
takes a highly active and hands-on approach. For further information, visit